Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crab Island - The World's largest flatback sea turtle rookery

The flatback sea turtle is endangered with extinction. Known as ‘Australia’s Sea Turtle’, it is found only in the nation’s far northern waters. The world’s largest and most important nesting beach is on Crab Island, situated off the remote North West coast of Cape York.

Because of Crab Island’s remoteness, logistical and access difficulties, and the presence of large saltwater crocodiles, the flatback population has never been studied. However, the flatback faces various threats, namely entanglement in discarded nets from illegal foreign fishing activities, predation of eggs by feral pigs and, importantly, is one of the most at-risk species from climate change.

The flatback remains a turtle of mystery. Biological information is critical to inform conservation strategies to ensure the species does not become extinct. This project aims to provide baseline data to increase our understanding of Crab Island's flatback sea turtles.

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